Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Big plays spur Braves to win

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 11/4/2013

Big plays offensively gave Ottawa University football team a shot in the arm Saturday in its 55-27 win over Kansas Wesleyan at Peoples Bank Field.

Ottawa had three touchdowns of 52 yards or more. The Braves have not been a big-play offensive team this season.

Big plays offensively gave Ottawa University football team a shot in the arm Saturday in its 55-27 win over Kansas Wesleyan at Peoples Bank Field.

Ottawa had three touchdowns of 52 yards or more. The Braves have not been a big-play offensive team this season.

The scoring started on a 52-yard touchdown run by quarterback Michael Behr, who rushed for a season-best 178 yards. He rushed for two touchdowns and passed for 215 yards and two more touchdowns.

“That 52-yard run was a big one,” Ottawa coach Kent Kessinger said. “He did a good job of throwing the football too. We had some big plays in the first half.”

Another big play was Eric Brown’s 88-yard punt return for a touchdown, but it was nullified because of an unsportsmanlike penalty.

Ottawa led 26-6 at halftime. Kansas Wesleyan scored to cut the lead to 26-13 when Ottawa’s offense cranked it up again.

The Braves went 55 yards in two plays. Luke Lundy rambled 54 yards for the score. Ottawa recovered a fumble and made the Coyotes pay.

Behr completed a 56-yard touchdown pass to Jon Hilliger on the first play after the turnover.

“Offensively, we scored and got it narrowed down,” Kansas Wesleyan coach Dave Dallas said. “Defensively, we could not get it stopped on third down. Third down was our Achilles heel today.”

Ottawa was 7-of-13 on third down, several were third-and-long situations.

“Offensively then we could not get it done,” Dallas said. “We had two dropped passes and the fumble. We had special teams breakdowns here or there. It is disappointing. Against a good football team, you can’t make those kind of mistakes.”

Ottawa’s defense was good at times, but gave up big plays and penalties hurt.

“We had a really good first half,” Ottawa defensive coordinator Josh Homolka said. “We kept a bunch of drives alive [with penalties].

Kansas Wesleyan finished with 301 yards passing.

“They threw the ball a lot,” Kessinger said. “[Quarterback] Trey [Dallas moves around the pocket really well.”

Ottawa finished with 619 yards. Ottawa rushed for 404 yards.

“We proved we are a physical offensive line as opposed to what people might like,” Kessinger said. “It challenged our guys. Those guys upfront take it personally.”

Ottawa (7-2, 6-1) plays 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Friends (7-2, 6-1).

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